the surface

Definition of the surface

  1. :  the part of someone or something that is easy to see or notice :  the outer quality or appearance of someone or something that may not show true or hidden problems, feelings, etc. On the surface the plan seems simple. She seemed fine on the surface, but underneath, she was suffering. Their relationship has a lot of problems simmering below/beneath/under the surface. He can't hide his true feelings. They lie close to the surface. The tension between them is beginning to rise to the surface.

Word by Word Definitions

  1. :  the exterior or upper boundary of an object or body

    :  a plane or curved two-dimensional locus of points (such as the boundary of a three-dimensional region)

    :  the external or superficial aspect of something

  1. :  of, located on, or designed for use at the surface of something

    :  situated, transported, or employed on the surface of the earth

    :  appearing to be such on the surface only :  superficial

  1. :  to give a surface to: such as

    :  to plane or make smooth

    :  to apply the surface layer to

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up the surface? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to cast off or become cast off

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